Emergentism and the Contingent Solubility of Salt

Theoria 84 (4):309-324 (2018)
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Abstract
Alexander Bird (2001; 2002; 2007) offers a powerful argument showing that, regardless of whether necessitarianism or contingentism about laws is true, salt necessarily dissolves in water. The argument is that the same laws of nature that are necessary for the constitution of salt necessitate the solubility of salt. This paper shows that Bird’s argument faces a serious objection if the possibility of emergentism – in particular, C. D. Broad’s account – is taken into account. The idea is (roughly) that some emergent laws in some possible worlds may disrupt the solubility of salt without disrupting its constitution.
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First archival date: 2018-07-20
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